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Weekend Box Office: Fast Five Makes Competition Eat Its Dust

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By Chris Kavan - 05/01/11 at 10:37 PM CT

Audiences must have felt a real need for speed over the weekend as Fast Five raced to the biggest opening of 2011 and the best opening of any film opening in April.

With Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Dwayne Johnson and a whole slew of actors from the previous four films in the series, Fast Five debuted with a $83.6 million #1 opening. The last film to hold the record April opening? That would be Fast & Furious - whose $71 million now looks quaint by comparison. It is also a big win for Universal Studios, as it was also a record opening for the studio - apparently their strategy of making Fast Five the first "summer" movie paid off. Also helping, IMAX screens, which accounted for $8.3 million or 10% of the total gross.

Yet despite the great opening of Fast Five, the other films that opened caused barely a ripple at the box office. Disney's Prom opening in 5th with just $5 million. Aiming for the High School Musical crowd worked as most of the audience was under 18 and female but it just couldn't bring in the same numbers as Twilight.

Hoodwinked Too! managed a record of its own, though it's not one to be proud of: the $4.1 million 6th-place showing represents the worst opening for a wide-release 3D film - beating out Mars Needs Moms and Drive Angry for that unhappy distinction.

At least they can still boast a top-ten finish. Poor Dylan Dog, even though it opened on far less screens, was far out of the money with only $885,000. Ouch.

Holdovers took some big hits as audiences packed in for Fast Five. Rio wound up in 2nd with a $14.4 million take after a 45% drop. The animated feature now sits at $103.6 million and should be able to top Rango and Hop in the coming weeks to take the crown of the top-grossing animated film of 2011.

Tyler Perry's newest Madea film took a 60% hit, which is typical compared to previous Perry films, to earn an additional $10 million - good enough for 3rd place. Madea's Big Happy Family now stands at $41 million.

The romantic drama Water for Elephants dropped about 46% to land in 4th with $9.1 million and a $32 million total. It should be able to top its $38 million budget, if only just, in the coming weeks.

Taking the biggest hit of the week, no surprise given last week's Easter boost, was Hop. It dropped 79% free-falling to 9th place with $2.5 million and a $105 million total.

Hollywood had it's third good week in a row, ending up 52% ahead of last year. Despite a rocky start, total box office is now off only 14.2% compared to last year - after running over 20% behind for most of the year.

With Fast Five having a huge opening week, we'll see if the "true" start of summer can keep the good times rolling when Thor hammers his way into theaters. If Norse deities aren't your cup of tea, Jumping the Broom and Something Borrowed might hold your interest instead.


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